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Canine Degenerative Myelopathy:
From Gene Mutation Discovery to Clinical Trials

Degenerative myelopathy (DM) is an inherited, adult-onset disease of the spinal cord causing progressive weakness and paralysis of the hind limbs and eventually all limbs. DM has clinical, histopathologic, and genetic parallels to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS - Lou Gehrig's disease) in humans.

Mutations in an enzyme that converts superoxide to water and hydrogen peroxide, superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1), have been linked to DM and human ALS. These discoveries have guided studies to further understand the natural history, establish biomarkers, and initiate clinical trials for therapeutic strategies.

View this presentation in which Dr. Joan R. Coates, DVM, MS, Diplomate ACVIM (Neurology) provides for a better understanding of DM including:

  • Genetic testing results as a risk factor for canine degenerative myelopathy
  • The neurologic progression in affected patients in terms of disease spread and changes in neuroanatomic localization
  • The pathophysiology of the mutated SOD1 protein and its consequences in the multifactorial pathogenesis of canine degenerative myelopathy
  • A platform of clinical trial designs and their potential applications in veterinary medicine
 

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